Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz #1)
A hero with an incredible talent...for breaking things. A life-or-death mission...to rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network...the evil Librarians.
Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the wo
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This book is what you'd expect from Sanderson. Good story. Nice rapid plot. An interesting well-orchestrated cosmology. And a cool magic system that's central to the story.
Two things of special note:
1. Unlike most of Sanderson's other work, this book is aimed at a YA audience. I still enjoyed it. But if you're looking for a grim, 800-page tome, this isn't it.
2. This book is fairly meta, especially for YA. It's first person, but the narrator regula ...more
1. it's got a great title
2. I've met the author and think he's delightful and a nice guy to boot
3. children's literature is due another winner
4. did I mention I really like the title?
5. the bits I'd read seemed good
6. the concept held promise
7. (I don't really have a seventh reason, but the number 6 seemed icky to end on. Seven has such strength and balance that ...more
Alcatraz Smedry (writing as some "Brandon Sanderson" guy as a cover) tells his story, and quite a story it is. Librarians have been keeping us all in t ...more
And it felt to me like Sanderson was not comfortable in this vein, and trying too hard, especi ...more
I loved this book for several reasons:
1) A disarmingly ho ...more
This delightful book ...more
The only reason that I read this book and rated it four stars was because it was written by Brandon Sanderson, ...more
Category 1 - comedy
This book is much funnier than Harry Potter. The constant editorial interruptions are sometimes exasperating but always funny, and I laughed out-loud several times. Very funny.
Category 2 - characterization
All but the main character in this book are mostly quirky caricatures rather than fully-realized people. Even the main character only sort-of comes into focus ...more
Turns out a dear friend sent me a copy and didn't let me know it was coming. Still, of any book that could come unex ...more
A fast-paced, easy-to-read, first person account of Alcatraz Smedry, a foster kid who has a knack for breaking things. But we soon learn that this "knack" is really a Talent - a Smedry Talent - and powerful one at that!
Alcatraz's world is turned upside down (or maybe right-side up) when he learns that the world we live in (the world of the Hushlanders) is actually run by evil librarians from the Free Kingdoms (where they know the truth...). Alcatraz must help ...more
My react ...more
Brandon Sanderson fills his book with lots of action, lots of humor and lots of snark, which makes this a perfect read for all ages. It's action-packed with the story really taking off in the first couple of chapters. None of that spending pages and pages setting up the story- ...more
Deliriously wacky, yet entirely internally consistent (as Sanderson’s magic systems always are), the novel is both entertaining and educational at the same time. Entertaining because of the humour on every page, educational because the book – although targeted at children – is surprisingly self-reflexive about the writing proc ...more
Yes, I was annoyed with the book. I found the first person narrative annoying, especially when Alcatraz would talk to the reader. I thought it interrupted the flow of the story and detracted rather than added anything to it. It was annoying that he continually told the reader what a bad person he was. ...more
This author was at the conference I attended also - he usually writes epic fantasies (He was chosen to finish Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series), b ...more
Plot summary: On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand which is immediately stolen by the evil Librarians who are trying to take over the world, and Alcatraz is introduced to his grandfather and his own special talent, and told that he must use it to save civilization.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, re ...more
I think the best way to describe this memoir is delightfully ridiculous. It has fantastic writing that is fun not only for children, but for adults as ...more
Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
I kept myself laughing out loud so much, specially at the beginning of each chapter.
Brandon Sanderson is just a genius, there is no thing written by him this far that I don't love!
Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians has many similarities to The Matrix. It is about a person who is just living his life not knowing that the life he is living has a sec ...more
Alcatraz suffers from terminal klutziness--little does he know that his clumsiness is really a "talent" characteristic of his family. On his 13th birthday he receives a mysterious package from his parents (he always assumed his parents were dead, since he has spent his life in foster homes--until he breaks something, anyway). The package contains a bag of sand (which gets stole ...more
Other than those four points, I think the book was awful. Bad writing. Clunky narration. Annoying characterization. Cliche after horrible pun after bad joke after mockery of all things literary. The author smugly and condesc ...more
Alkatraz is a great hero with a wonderful talent for breaking things, but he has been brought up by foster families in Inner Libraria who are unable to appreciate him.
When he receives his inheritance (a bag of sand), his life begins to get more exciting. An evil case worker steals the sand, Grandpa Smedry arrives (late, as usual) and off th ...more
Actually, my experience has been that people generally don't recommend this kind of book at all. It is far too interesting. Perhaps you have had other kinds of books recommended to you. Perhaps, even, you have been given books by friends, parents, or tea ...more
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It's really funny.”